Shoppers scouting for summer sales bargains spent more online than in any previous May, figures have shown.
The increase in sales was confined to clothing, footwear and accessories, according to IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) and Capgemini.
Online shoe sales surged by 17 per cent ahead of the Sex and the City film premiere, but the FA Cup and Euro 2008 disappointments appeared to have affected online electrical and alcohol sales, the report concluded.
Online spending in the UK hit £4.5 billion last month – a 30 per cent upturn on May 2007.
Sales of clothing, footwear and accessories rose four per cent on the strength of summer sales.
Electrical goods sales fell by ten per cent, while spending on alcohol dropped by 11 per cent.
The figures were produced by the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
Anthoula Madden, vice-president at Capgemini UK’s consumer products and retail team, said: “Although online sales across the board are more robust than on the high street, falling property prices and persistent news of a credit crunch are causing UK shoppers to become more careful with their disposable income.
“The premiere of Sex and the City provided an excellent platform for e-retailers to capitalise on consumer spending, but elsewhere the lack of any of the big four clubs in the FA Cup final and the absence of a home team in Euro 2008 seems to have hit hopes of the sales of large screen TVs and alcohol.”
The e-retail sales index tracks online transactions based on data from around 60 retailers who sell online.
These include internet-only retailers plus high street chains with online stores.
The IMRG is the industry body for e-retailers.